It’s time for another inspirational story from a fellow peer of yours. Today I want to share with you the story of an athlete who found a way to match her inner strength with her outer strength. Please meet Lashon!
From 4th grade on I had always been overweight. Bad eating habits and lack of exercise turned into childhood obesity in middle school. I hadn’t really given much thought into what I was consuming or health in general for that matter until I started doing track and field freshman year of high school.
Seeing the bodies of some of these girls on the team made me feel something that I had never felt before, body envy. From freshman to senior year I was a part of the team and competed as a varsity thrower (as a freshman) but never felt that I belonged around all of these athletic girls and boys. I thought being a thrower gave me an excuse to not care about excess weight because the bigger the stronger right? But when every check up at your doctors office harbors bad news involving “At risk for type 2 diabetes” and “abnormal testosterone levels”, its difficult to continue to think that way.
After high school I moved on to attend Santa Barbara City College. I had never lived on my own and it was a very emotional experience in of itself. Naturally I joined the track team and threw shot put and discus as was routine for the last 4 years. During the middle half of preseason training; around November 2011, I noticed a change in my body. I was losing weight, and it was unintentional. I saw this as my lifeline to finally get healthy and change my life. So that is exactly what I did!
I started to slowly eat healthy foods as to not sabotage the progress that I had gained and it worked. I soon became vegetarian, cut out all dairy, bread, etc. and focused on bettering myself from the outside in with clean eating and routine exercise. Losing weight and becoming fit was not only a choice but also my only option and even I was surprised by my self-motivation. After preseason and competition time winded down summer break happened. This was when I had already lost about 45 pounds and when I came back to my hometown I received a mass amount of compliments. This encouraged me to keep on the path of fitness.
During the latter half of summer 2012 though I hit a wall. I was no longer losing at the pace that I was used to. This past summer I suffered from extreme depression, an eating disorder and self-loathing. Constantly telling myself that I wasn’t good enough, I was fat, worthless etc. I only stayed at that weight for about a month until I started training again for track. My parents and friends were there for me through all of it and without them I don’t know if I’d still be here to tell my story.
I then began to research free workout videos online when I didn’t have enough time in between assignments and classes to go to the gym. I stumbled across Cassey’s POP Pilates videos and was shocked at how sore they made me! Now that’s coming from a thrower who lifts and runs at least 6 times a week! After doing a couple pilates videos I noticed a change in the muscle that I was forming. I was becoming more lean and toned and this had a major impact on my track and field performance. Pilates helped in my throwing technique for shot-put and discus becauseI had gained balance in my body. This present track season I began doing running events as well as throwing and now run at least 3 miles a day. I didn’t have a clue about Pilates until Cassey’s videos and they were my saving grace.
I knew getting fit would be difficult but I greatly underestimated the impact that it has on your mind, body AND soul.
During this past winter break I did Blogilates videos religiously and began to love my body, a feeling I thought I would never have towards it. Reading Cassey’s blog posts about the importance of being mentally in tune with your body really pushed my thinking. Comparing myself to others who have not gone through the same transformation just didn’t make sense. I decided that this is the body that I have and I am proud of how far I have come in my fitness journey.
I love my tiger stripes (stretch marks) and my loose skin because it is a testimony to my achievement of ultimate health and fitness.
I have lost about 65 pounds overall and it has been one hell of a journey. I am still working on the self-love part of my journey but Cassey definitely made it so much easier to see that although I am not stick thin, nor ever will be, that I am beautiful and that with determination and hard work I can achieve my own personal greatness.
WOW!!! What a great story. I love the quote about tiger stripes. You are a fierce warrior and I have so much respect for you girl! The fitness journey is different for everyone and I appreciate you sharing your personal challenges with us today. So honest. So true. So grateful. I know a lot of POPsters may still have questions for Lashon, so feel free to reach out and connect with her via email or follow her on instagram! She was kind enough to provide a way for us all to seek advice and frienship from her.
Have a fabulous rest of your Tues! If anyone else has a story they would like to share please send an email and pics to [email protected]